Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Rowdy reactions: Fiesta Spring Game

While the annual spring game is just a friendly sparring session for the UTSA football team, it can still provide insight on some emerging talent. Three months before the season, here are our overreactions from the 2024 Fiesta Spring Game. 

JJ Sparkman will lead UTSA in receiving yards 

After three seasons with Texas Tech, wide receiver Sparkman hit the transfer portal and found his way to San Antonio. Sparkman’s first Division I offer was from head coach Jeff Traylor and he’s had no problem adjusting to Traylor’s culture at UTSA. Despite playing limited snaps in the spring game, Sparkman’s impact on the field was felt. His day was highlighted by an acrobatic sideline catch, putting the Roadrunner offense in scoring position. With veteran receiver De’Corian Clark still battling a leg injury that he suffered almost two years ago, Sparkman could slot right into that role and produce at a high level in his first season in San Antonio. 

Eddie Lee Marburger will be the starting quarterback 

Coming into the spring game, most would assume that the starting quarterback job was Owen McCown’s to lose. McCown led UTSA to its first bowl win in program history last winter against Marshall. However, if what transpired on the field Saturday evening remains consistent through fall camp, it would be hard to leave Marburger on the bench come week one. The Marburger-led offense seemed to be firing on all cylinders. His chemistry with the aforementioned Sparkman could aid him in the ensuing quarterback battle and solidify him as Frank Harris’ heir apparent. 

UTSA will have a top-30 defense in the nation 

Though the UTSA offense had individual players shine during the spring game, it was the entire defensive unit for UTSA that stole the show. Losing players like Trey Moore and Kam Alexander in the offseason would crumble most other Group of Five teams, but not UTSA. The Roadrunners reloaded with big-time additions like five-star cornerback Denver Harris and former Alabama linebacker Ian Jackson. Pair those up with the returning veterans on the ‘Runner defense and it should surprise no one if UTSA boasts an elite defense this fall. 

Denver Harris will be the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year 

Harris’ collegiate career hasn’t gone as he had hoped. A class of 2022 five-star should not be on his third team in three seasons, but everyone’s journey is different. His talent was never the question, it was the off-the-field issues, and that is something Traylor can work with. The UTSA football program takes great players and turns them into great young men. It’s the reason players come to UTSA. The program might not have world-class facilities, a large NIL collective or the biggest fan base in all of college football, but it’s a program that breeds greatness. Combining Harris’ pure talent and Traylor’s coaching wizardry is sure to produce another program icon.

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About the Contributor
Rylan Renteria
Rylan Renteria, Distribution Manager
Rylan is a psychology major in his junior year at UTSA, and is entering his second semester as a writer for The Paisano. As a major fan of both the Seattle Seahawks and Mariners, Rylan is also very supportive of the San Antonio Spurs and all UTSA Athletics which can be shown in his commentary writing pieces. Aside from watching sports, Rylan enjoys watching horror movies, playing video games and playing intramural sports.

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